"Private and personal knowledge detailed and obtained by much study or experience."
- Intimacy means that we blindly trust people.
- Intimacy means physical or emotional isolation.
- Intimacy means betrayal.
- Intimacy means agreeing with another person when you know that person is not right.
- Intimacy means disclosing private or personal information when you do not want or wish to.
- Intimacy means abuse.
- Substituting (e.g. perfectionism, false compassion, attention demanding behavior)
- Compulsive Behaviors (e.g. eating, smoking, shopping, sex, work, religion, TV)
- Suppressing the Need
- A Judgmental Attitude
Remember that intimacy includes the ability to both give and receive love. If we are isolating ourselves from others, there is no opportunity for an exchange. If we are possessive and smothering, then we are stuck in a mode of only taking and not giving. Our needs are center stage and the other person is being held accountable to make sure that we are constantly reassured, comforted, and paid attention to.
Furthermore, if we are engaging in any of these behaviors, we are also, once again, on the control wagon! By either managing ourselves or others, we are hoping to eliminate the risks that come along with intimacy.
To begin the process of first identifying what intimacy is for you, I encourage you to create an “Intimacy Is…” collage. You can go whole hog and whip out magazines, glue stick, and construction paper or you can create a spreadsheet. The important thing is that you spend some time reflecting on what you would like to know and believe about intimacy – e.g. Intimacy is a walk on the beach, adventure, a risk worth taking, pillow talk.